Ashara 2.0 came on line to fill a void in At-Risk or Less Advantaged Youth. At-Risk or Less Advantaged Youth, according to Ashara’s educational Standards address and or all of the following environments;

  1. Socio-economic standard
  2. Language  barrier
  3. Difficult Home Environment
  4. Learning Disability

2.0 Information Technology Initiative develops ideas and strategies to engage alienated and disaffected young people in with Information and Assistive Technology activities developing job and educational skills, foster internships and/or work experience, and improve their lives.

Information and Assistive Technology are now threshold skills required for employment and scholastic success. Employers expect basic Information Technology skills (MS Office, MS Excel, Adobe, Java, MSWord, MS Publisher, and MS Powerpoint), whether or not they are used in the actual job.

            Research has developed the following articulates regarding Information and Assistive Technology and Youth Development

  1. Technology is a hook. TASCHA’s Research[1], found technology (23%) is second only to sports (26%) in drawing youth away from violence.

 

  1. The best programs treat Information and Assistive Technology as a sports program.

 

  1. Studies also show that even though technology is the hook, it is the non-tech benefits that are often as or more important. Teamwork, positive relationships with adults, confidence and self-esteem, for instance, are all skills that youth (especially those at-risk) need.

 

  1. Social networks are key. The study’s main finding was that social networks were essential for connecting youth with both trainers and employers.

 

  1. Importance of social spaces. This is particularly important for at-risk youth since physical centers also provide a safe space from violent life on the street.  Research found that learning in a group setting was very important to the success of the program.

 

  1. The people.  Information and Assistive Technology though seemingly technical have merged with the social, creating an ever-growing network of social opportunities.

 

  1. IAT has been found to help with disabilities in terms of cognitive problems and physical impairment.

 

  1. IAT benefits for kids with Learning Disabilities diversify the playing field even more by encompassing any device or system that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual's specific learning deficits.

 

  1. IAT has been shown to improve skill deficits (e.g., reading and spelling).

 

  1. IAT have been shown to increase a child's self-reliance and sense of independence.

 

  1. Use of IAT in a class lecture, or a meeting with multiple speakers, equalizes the opportunities for students with disadvantages.

 

  1. IAT tools for math have been shown to help with computing, organizing, aligning, and copying math skills.

 

  1. IAT have slowly replaced Audio books and publications.  Now with Ebook technology and TTS (Text-to-speech) improvements involvement and improvements follow at an accelerated pace.  

 

  1. IAT also uses Electronic math worksheets, which aide in organization, problem-solving alignment, via a speech synthesizer.

 

  1. Information/data management is the next phase of entry level positioning.  Even Line operators will have to have basic literacy skills just to input and manage values.  Without this set of skills upward mobility within the next 10 years will become virtually impossible.

 

The 2.0 Advantage

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

 Ashara’s use of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL)  enhances the educational experience of diverse learners by giving each student the same material and coupling it with IAT often built into educational materials and can be customized to help students with disabilities be successful with the general curriculum.

  1. Determine specific needs and challenges
  2. Determine strengths
  3.  Determine IAT’s best utility for child’s.
  4. Determine interests, skills and experiences with IAT.
  5. Determine settings and situations for IAT tool usage
  6. IAT determination of utility to assist children with LD functions to improve academic performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://tascha.uw.edu/research/employability/technology-employability-latin-america/

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